Maintaining a patent airway in medical school

“GCS less than 8, intubate.”

“Right, what else?”

“Acute respiratory failure!”

“Good, and what are the contraindications?”


The small flock of medical students stares blankly into our surgery TA’s face, anticipating an answer, like chicks awaiting a feed from a mother hen. He pauses, then eventually tells us. We regurgitate the answers before dispersing to our stations.

My thoughts begin to race, as I quickly rehearse the intubation video in my head that I played …

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